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Motion Strong

Use Motion Strong Action to fit the needs of your program's offense.


Motion Strong is a commonly used offensive action that can be tailored to fit your personnel and coaching tastes. Countless team at all levels have used this staggered screening concept as a staple of their success. The San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks (among others) have all used their own unique versions of Motion Strong to find success at the NBA Level. College programs such as Davidson, Tennessee, and many other Bob McKillop influenced coaches have implemented it to find NCAA Tournament success as well.


There were a few things that I personally liked about Motion Strong that I thought could help solve some team specific issue we had:


1. The Staggered Screens would help vs Face Guarding of Top Scorer

2. The Post Player could have an active role as a Screener

3. We could easily flow into it from Transition


Motion Strong Basics

Ideally we would like to flow into Motion Strong straight from Transition. If there was no "Pitch Ahead" or "Attack the Middle Third" opportunity in transition then the ball should be settling into the slot hunting the Slot to Slot pass that initiates the Motion Strong Action.


Flowing from transition we would have two players sprinting ahead to the corners, our Center Rim Running and posting up on the ball side block, and the basketball & a trailer filling the slots. On a made basket or dead ball this trailer would be the four man, but on a missed shot it could be anyone of four players.


As demonstrated below the goal would be to arrive with perfect spacing and then have the basketball swung from Slot to Slot to Wing.

Motion Strong Options

One of the benefits of Motion Strong are the amount of options that it gives players to score. There are a number of things that can be done with the Motion Strong concept that can be tailored to fit your players. One thing coaches will have to determine is what amount of out of simplicity / complexity is right for their players.


Our version of Motion Strong used the traditional Stagger Action, followed by the Flare Screen from the Post Player. If a player did not shoot or drive the ball on the catch, he would then have the chance to pass to the Flare Screen or Roll Man. From there we would simply look to use the backside & flow into our Drive and Space rules.


I put together the videos below to show how we used Motion Strong to create scoring opportunities this past season.


Motion Strong Diagrams




I. Straight Cut Shots & Drives:

Here a player makes a straight cut off the staggered screen and either gets a shot or a drive from the top of the key.


II. Curl & Backdoor Cutting Options:

If cutters read a switch or their defender is aggressively denying their path off the screens they may curl or cut backdoor to the rim. This also opens up "Pop" opportunities for the Second Screener.


III. Hit the Roll Man & Using the Backside:

On a Straight cut that does not lead to either a shot or a drive the player with the basketball looks to hit the roll man, or use the backside players to flow into Drive & Space.


IV. Wing Drives:

The Stagger Action will often occupy all three backside defenders and on occasion the player who receives the pass on the wing will have driving opportunities.


V. Play Through the Post:

The Wing Player receiving the entry pass can choose to enter the ball into the post instead of using the Stagger Action. Once again the Stagger Action can serve as a great way to occupy help defense.


VI. Flare Screens:

As soon as the Wing Player makes a pass the Cutter the Post Player sets his Flare Screen. This leaves a great chance to use boomerang action to get a scoring opportunity. This can also occupy X5 leaving the Roll Man open.


Concluding Thoughts

Motion Strong can easily be tailored to fit your team's offensive needs. It can be done from four or five out, it can add intricacy by embedding "Point Action" on reversals, or it can be easily manipulated to move key players into quick hit actions. Take a look at some of the reading and video links below to see how other teams use Motion Strong to their advantage.


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Contact info for Coach Lynch

Email: lynchm@lpsma.net, mflynch21@yahoo.com

Twitter: @LeicBasketball



Videos & Further Reading:

1. Davidson flow from Transition into Motion Strong - https://youtu.be/RJYKu1HKPMs

2. San Antonio Spurs Motion Strong - https://youtu.be/HKibI6nf1Ew

3. Five Out Motion Strong from Brooklyn Nets - https://youtu.be/ADzwOuz4kYY

4. Radius Athletics on the Milwaukee Bucks - https://youtu.be/sVXQOEZETeY

5. Half Court Hoops on 2013-16 Atlanta Hawks - https://youtu.be/JiQIq8uhk6g

6. Rick Barnes & Tennessee Volunteers Half Court Offense - https://youtu.be/jinJE85osSk


Radius Athletics FastModel Article:

http://team.fastmodelsports.com/2019/03/11/motion-strong-entries-options/


Reddit thread on the Mike Budenholzer led Atlanta Hawks' Offense:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AtlantaHawks/comments/3j8ari/how_the_hawks_motion_offense_works_megapost_gifs/


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